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BE IT REMEMBERED that a special meeting of the White County Council was held at the White County Building at Monticello at 8:00 A.M. on July 1, 2011 for the purpose of discussing the innkeepers tax and other business that might come before the membership.

Council President Dennis Carter called the Council meeting to order in joint session with the Commissioners.  The following members were present:

Dennis E Carter           Kevin L Crabb         Dennis D Cain
Bruce D Clear        Raymond L Kramer Jr     James G Annis

Auditor Guingrich said with the signing for the Gateway program the Councilors will be able to view the non-binding budgets on their laptops this year.  She is planning to have the non-binding budgets collected and ready for the Council to review at the regular meetings on August 15 and September 19, 2011.

Councilor Kramer said he has been asked what the current 3% innkeeper’s tax was used for and would it change.  He said it was used for lakes clean-up and would continue to be used for that purpose.  Joe Crivello said with the over $1 million in the account and the continuing 3% tax collections, the silt work can continue every five to seven years for at least 20 more years. President Carter said he was asked why another board.  Commissioner John Heimlich said the State Statute spells out the qualifications for those who are to serve on the new board including two who must be in the business of renting rooms; also someone involved with tourism or economic development, and appointments from the mayor, etc.  Secretary Nydegger asked that if members who meet the new requirements were added to the existing board, could that board then be used to serve both elements, since they only meet approximately twice a year at present.  Mr. Crivello said the focus for the new board will be completely different than the existing board.  The existing board’s focus is on the lake silt maintenance, and the new board’s focus will be on bringing more tourists to the community which will create more tax revenue that should trickle down to more jobs.  The new board will also look for ways to extend the tourist season beyond Labor Day and before Memorial Day.  Commissioner John Heimlich said by State Statute it will be a separate board. 
Councilor Clear made a motion to adopt an additional 2% innkeeper’s tax to be used to promote conventions, tourism, and economic development in the county.  Councilor Cain seconded the motion.  (Ordinance #2011-01)                    Vote:  Unanimous
Councilor Kramer made a motion to begin the collection of the additional 2% innkeeper’s tax effective July 6, 2011.  Councilor Annis seconded the motion. (Ordinance #2011-01)                                                Vote:  Unanimous

Mr. Crivello asked how one would know if there are resorts not collecting and turning in the existing innkeeper’s tax.  Councilor Kramer said it is self-policing.  Council President Carter said the White County Treasurer has records of paying innkeepers, but it is not on a computerized spreadsheet.  He said there is no list of those who are not paying.  Secretary Nydegger suggested the new committee prepare a non-threatening letter encouraging resorts to register and come into compliance with the law.  She also thought Economic Director Connie Neininger could play a part in this procedure. 
Commissioner John Heimlich said the County Treasurer will collect the total 5% tax from innkeepers and she will then allocate 2% into a new fund.  The money cannot be used until a new board is established and the Treasurer of the board requests the money from the County. 
Council President Carter said there is a 10% late fee if innkeepers make late payments, plus interest.  Councilor Kramer said penalties are set up the same as the property tax penalties.  He also said a lien could possibly be assessed to the property tax.

There being no further business to bring before the Council, Councilor Kramer made a motion to adjourn.  Councilor Cain seconded the motion.            Vote:  Unanimous

___________________________             ___________________________            ________(absent)____________          
DENNIS E CARTER, PRESIDENT        JAMES ANNIS                   GARY W HENDRYX                                         

___________________________             ___________________________            ___________________________
DENNIS D CAIN                                       KEVIN L CRABB                             RAYMOND L KRAMER JR

___________________________              Attest:  ___________________________
BRUCE D CLEAR                            JILL GUINGRICH, AUDITOR